Weeds has never really been about a widowed suburbanite who deals pot to her friends and neighbors to make ends meet. That’s merely a metaphor. In fact, almost every aspect of Weeds works as metaphor. First, there’s the name of the LA suburb “Agrestic”, which is an Old English word meaning “characteristic of the fields”, but also means “crude and lacking in sophistication.” The characters in the series all represent some degree of disenfranchisement within their political and social strata. Marijuana is actually the most minor component of Weeds, serving as a crude capitalist icon from which everything else emanates.
Or maybe I get high just watching Weeds.
It’s addictive that way. Season one was an enjoyable romp through some of suburbia’s darker boulevards. While Mary-Louise Parker’s portrayal of small time suburban pot dealer Nancy Botwin was the force that kept it cohesive, the interplay between her and the characters surrounding her made the show pop. Kevin Nealon, as Doug Hunter, and Elizabeth Perkins, as Celia Hodes, in particular, were outstanding symbols of middle class extremes. Both pointed to the dirty little secrets that lurked beneath the veneer of the pristine gated community. Doug was the city councilman who was perpetually stoned, but maintained his CPA business, and Celia was the PTA president whose obsession with image didn’t preclude her extramarital activities. And, of course, both were close to Nancy.
With season two, Weeds expands on its suburban satire, and wisely takes the storyline into more logical, often darker realms. What we get as a result is a series that weaves seamlessly between broad comedy and scalpel sharp drama, and never misses a beat between transitions. Plot points introduced in the first season flow effortlessly into the second, progressing in a way that unfolds much like life does.
Alliances have shifted. Nancy and Conrad have decided to expand their operation, and grow their own. Heylia, Conrad’s aunt and Nancy’s supplier, isn’t happy about this, for obvious reasons. When Nancy’s bakery burns down (perhaps aided by Sanjay), it presents a perfect opportunity for Nancy and Conrad to eliminate the middle man, however.
As rosy as all that may sound, the growing business is not without complications. After all, Nancy is trying to raise her two sons, Silas and Shane, who are in separate stages of pubescent male hormone pinball. Silas is exerting his male dominance factor, usually not very well. And Shane is torn between the newfound joys of masturbation and realizing that joining the debate team is a good way to make certain chicks notice him. Uncle Andy isn’t the best role model for them, but there may be hope in the Israeli ex-commando who teaches him that she can be more man than he’ll ever be (long story, that one).